Blank tea towels are so versatile.

They not only look fresh and clean, but they wash up and hold up well too.

But the best thing about them is you can customize them to make great gifts! Who doesn’t love a customized gift?! I know I sure do!

Originally used in the Depression Era to avoid shipping flour in heavy wooden barrels, these flour sack towels are a hidden gem.

Clever housewives discovered the bags’ sturdy fabric and started using the towels for aprons, diapers, and even dresses. Today, they don’t come free with our flour, but we can purchase them in many places for around $1 each.

Making DIY tea towels is so simple even your kids can do it with you.

Once you begin, you’ll see that there are endless variations of DIY kitchen tea towel ideas.

This post is part of our 30 Days of Homemade Gifts Series. 30 gifts that are easy (and cheap) to make, but also something you’ll be proud to give.

Each Homemade Gift has to meet 5 stipulations in order to maximize your money and make it easy for a busy mom to do:

  1. Easy to obtain supplies –  Supplies are things you might already have on hand or are easy to find at Walmart or a craft store so you can get them in the same day you want to make it.
  2. Easy to make –  Supplies are easy to work with or use so that anyone could do it… not caustic… so you could do the craft with your kids.
  3. Quick to make –  It can be made in 30 minutes or less so it’s possible to make this gift in the middle of the night with products most likely already have on hand. (Note: The 30 minute guide is your “hands on” time, dry time is excluded.)
  4. Cheap to make – You should be able to make the project without spending more than $10.
  5. Substantial – Each gift is “big” enough that you’ll feel confident giving it alone and not having to add a gift card to it.
    Multiple uses –
      Multiple gifts can be made out of the same supplies giving you options to use up all the supplies you buy.
    Saving Money Double Bonus: Try to think about what you already have on hand to upcycled and save more money.

Are you ready to customize some blank tea towels into great gifts? Let’s get busy!

blank tea towel, blank tea towel gift ideas

Tea Towel Gift Supplies:

You can get as creative as you want with these DIY kitchen tea towel ideas. Think outside of the box when looking in your craft supply stash for anything that you might be able to use as a stamp instead of purchasing new items.

Here’s the master list of things you’ll need to make this craft:

  • 1 Package (5 Towels) Mainstays 28″ x 29″ Flour Sack Kitchen Towels
  • OR Mainstays Flour Sack Non-Terry White Kitchen Towel, 10 Count (it’s cheaper per towel to get this pack)
  • Cookie Cutters (plastic ones are better than metal ones for stamping)
  • Fabric Paint
  • Plastic Trash bag (or cardboard) to cover the table and put under the blank tea towel while stamping it
  • Paper plate or foam plate to hold paint and dipping cookie cutter into
  • Iron or Steamer to get wrinkles out of towels
  • Wet Paper Towel to wipe your fingers
  • Optional: Q-tip, paint brush or popsicle stick for mixing colors
  • Later: Decorative paper to make gift labels


Save Money On Your Craft Supplies


Download this FREE Guide to find 25 Ways to save money when you buy craft supplies so that your beautiful creations cost less.

Save Money On Your Craft Supplies


Download this FREE Guide to find 25 Ways to save money when you buy craft supplies so that your beautiful creations cost less.

Don’t have any cookie cutters? Ask your friends and family to see if they have some to borrow.

Also, check your local thrift stores. It’s a great place to pick up cheap cookie cutters and craft supplies for your DIY kitchen tea towel ideas.

Check your dollar store too as they make have some great deals on the craft supplies you need or want to use for your blank tea towel gift ideas!

blank tea towel, blank tea towel gift ideas

Prep Your Workspace:

First, you will need a large working surface to work on. I pulled out my folding table that we use for the holidays to work on. It was just wide enough and long enough for all the supplies. I then taped a plastic trash bag that I had cut apart so that I wouldn’t get any paint on the table.

You will also need to iron or steamer to make the towels neat and flat. They are somewhat crumpled and you’ll want a flat surface to stamp on.

blank tea towel, blank tea towel gift ideas
Then, you will also need somewhere to hang or lay your towels flat to dry.

They need to dry for 4 hours, so think of a place you’ll be able to lay them down or hang them to dry quickly so you can start the next towel.

Pant hangers with the two clips works nicely because it will hang them open to dry. After I ran out of pant hangers, I draped the towels over my laundry hampers. So it’s good to think ahead and prepare a space before you start painting.

You could also hang them over the back of your dining chairs. I would put a trash bag over them first to make sure paint doesn’t get on your chairs.

Also, don’t forget to grab some wet paper towels to catch any messes before you start.

blank tea towel, blank tea towel gift ideas


To start, lay the tea towel out flat and put a piece of cardboard or plastic bag underneath the section that you will be working on.

Decide the pattern you want and where you want to put it on the towel.

Put some paint on the plate in an even layer, and dip the cookie cutter into the paint making sure that the cookie-cutter has an even layer of paint all around.

Then, carefully apply the cutter to the towel pressing the entire cutter all the way around to ensure coverage.

Lift up to reveal the painted pattern on the towel.

Repeat pattern to your liking and let dry. Follow the instructions on the paint to ensure adhesion.

Dry for 4 hours before packaging for your gift.

blank tea towel, blank tea towel gift ideas


On most cookie cutters there is a narrow side and a thick side. You might want to test each side on a piece of paper first to see which one you like best.

If you are using the thick side, some paint could bleed through to the other side. That is why it is important to have some cardboard or the plastic trash bag covering the surface beneath your tea towel.

Also, have fun with your pattern. Stamp the cookie-cutter off the edge, double the pattern, mix up some different shades. Create until your heart is happy!

Don’t feel like it needs to be perfect. These are hand made so each one will be unique!

blank tea towel, blank tea towel gift ideas

Let Your Imagination Run…

The best thing about these DIY kitchen tea towel ideas from blank tea towels is the many gift ideas that you can come up with! Have fun with it!

Get the kids involved and let them decide what they would like to create.

The year I did this one son was into cars, one was into Spider-Man and Annabelle made her fingerprints into flowers and butterflies.

These just don’t have to be kitchen towels, they make great hand towels for bathrooms too since they dry fast! Think of sayings like Flush & Wash or Swish & Spit. Get creative!

More DIY Kitchen Tea Towel Ideas:

  • Tie Dye Towels
  • Paint Pen Towels
  • Stamped Tea Towels
  • Use kitchen tools to make great patterns.
  • Check out these nifty stamp tips!
  • Add rick rack, fringe or ribbon to the bottom for more fun and color.
  • Gift a set of custom napkins to give as a set with the towels.
  • Add monograms or last names
  • Make a matching grocery shopping tote to give with your towels.
  • Gift a set of 12 towels – one for each month. Think seasonally with hearts, flags, pumpkins, snowmen and more!
  • Gift a set of 7 towels – with the day of the week on each towel.
  • Add Grandman’s hand written recipe by using a fabric marker even personalized sayings.
  • Sew several towels together to make a table runner. Create a pattern that covers and matches your towels. You can also use fabric glue if you don’t own a sewing machine.
  • Do you embroider? Tea towels are the perfect thing to embroder on!
  • Create a rolling pattern using a rolling pin!

The possibilities are endless!

blank tea towel, blank tea towel gift ideas

Ideas To Give Your Tea Towel Gifts:

Now that you have put all that time into it making these blank tea towels into beautiful gifts, you’ll want to make the presentation just as pretty! Use your imagination to create and present your gift.

Supplies Needed:

  • Strips of construction paper
  • Ribbon
  • Cardstock printed tag
  • Paper towel or toilet paper roll
  • Scissors
  • Wrapping paper

Here’s what I did in the photo above. I took 3 handpainted tea towels and rolled them up. Then I printed a small tag onto card stock using my computer and printer.

I cut out the tag, and stapled it to the piece of ribbon and wrapped it around the towel set.

You could also cut a 1-inch section from a paper towel holder or toilet paper holder then cover it in wrapping paper, washi tape or construction paper. To finish it off, just add your towel and a tag or bow to it.


Save Money On Your Craft Supplies


Download this FREE Guide to find 25 Ways to save money when you buy craft supplies so that your beautiful creations cost less.

Save Money On Your Craft Supplies


Download this FREE Guide to find 25 Ways to save money when you buy craft supplies so that your beautiful creations cost less.

blank tea towel, blank tea towel gift ideas

Total Cost:

Total Cost for 10 Towels: $10.87 ($7.88 + $2.99)
Total Cost Per Towel: $1.09 each

Total Cost for 5 Towels Set: $7.46 ($4.47 + $2.99)
Total Cost Per Towel: $1.49 each 

So you can see just how easy it is to come up with blank tea towels gift ideas, right?

And they are so affordable! You can easily make them into gifts for your neighbors, teachers, family, and friends. And they could be made in an afternoon to give as a dinner hostess gift. Or on a Saturday evening to give to a Sunday School teacher the next morning.

So turn those blank tea towels into some great gift ideas!

YOUR TURN: What are you going to make on your blank tea towels? Who are you going to give them to? Let me know in the comments below!

How To Turn Blank Tea Towels Into The Ultimate Gift